Son charged in killing parents in California home

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Associated Press

Posted on March 7, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 7 at 5:03 PM

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a college student has been charged with killing his parents and trying to kill his brother and sister in the family's luxury Southern California home.

The Orange County district attorney's office on Friday charged 19-year-old Ashton Sachs with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. If convicted of all charges, he could face the death penalty.

Prosecutors say Sachs returned to Orange County from Seattle and fatally shot Bradford Sachs and Andra Sachs on Feb. 9 while they slept in their San Juan Capistrano home.

They say he also shot his 8-year-old brother, who was paralyzed by the gunfire, and fired at his 17-year-old sister but missed.

Sachs was arrested Thursday by sheriff's investigators. He is being held without bail.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

A college student was arrested on suspicion of shooting his parents to death in their luxury Southern California home in February, authorities said Friday.

Ashton Sachs, 19, a college student in Washington state, was arrested Thursday and booked into an Orange County jail, said sheriff's investigator Justin Montano. He is being held without bail.

The arrest comes after Bradford Sachs, 57, and Andra Sachs, 54, were fatally shot in their nearly 9,000-square-foot San Juan Capistrano home on Feb. 9. Their 8-year-old son was also shot and critically injured.

Investigators combed the home but initially found no signs of a break-in and little evidence leading them to a suspect. After a monthlong probe, Montano said they have recovered what they believe to be the murder weapon and they believe Sachs acted alone.

"To us, it was a true whodunit in the beginning," Montano told reporters in Santa Ana.

Investigators have yet to identify a motive.

The couple, who had five children, filed for divorce more than a decade ago but continued to live and conduct business together. Over the years, they faced a number of lawsuits related to their business dealings, the Orange County Register reported.

Montano released few details about the shooting except that the victims apparently were shot while they were sleeping.

Sachs was arrested in San Diego County and taken to the sheriff's department for questioning. The 19-year-old, who has been enrolled in college in Washington state since last fall, was later booked into jail in neighboring Orange County, where he awaits a scheduled court appearance on Monday.

Montano said investigators spoke with Sachs "at length" after his arrest. He declined to reveal what Sachs told them.

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